From Ahmad Muhammad, Bauchi
The Governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Bauchi yesterday affirmed the victory of Senator Bala Abdulladir Muhammed as the elected governor of the state.
Mohammed polled 525,280 votes to defeat Sadiq Abubakar, former chief of air staff, who secured 432,272 votes in the state election.
Delivering judgement on Wednesday, the tribunal dismissed the petition filed by Sadique and his party — the All Progressive Congress (APC) — challenging Mohammed’s victory in the March 18 governorship election.
P.T. Kwahar, chairman of the three-man panel, said the petitioners failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the alleged manipulation of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the election.
He said the petitioner’s witnesses presented evidence based on hearsay as they were not at the polling units.
Kwahar said the witnesses did not show evidence that the election results were mutilated, manipulated, or tampered with as claimed.
“They have failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the APC candidate won the election,” he said,
“The election of the 18th of March, 2023 was conducted in total compliance with the electoral act and the petition is hereby dismissed.
“Consequently, the return of the second respondent as the truly elected governor of Bauchi state by the first respondent (INEC) in the conduct of the governorship election of the 18th of March, 2023 is hereby affirmed.”